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Shared Services
Centres 2012
PwC survey on how SSCs are currently
performing and their potential for the future

Czech Republic & Slovakia

Contents

PwC

Preface

Management summary and key findings

About the SSC maturity model

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

1. The company profiles and SSC profiles

10

2 Strategy
2.

15

3. Organization, governance and compliance in the SSC

17

4. Continuous improvement in the SSC

22

5. Business processes in the SSC

27

6. Customer relations

30

7. Performance management

34

8. Human resource management

38

9. Systems and technology

41

10. KPIs

43

Outlook

46

About us

5
51

Glossary

52

Contacts

53

Preface
eface
In the time of a financial crisis, most companies undergo increased pressure for cost efficiency and
performance excellence and therefore look for further sources of cost reduction and cost optimization.
Outsourcing and shared service centres (SSC), a phenomena of the last 20 years, are seen and
recommended as a tool for increasing the cost efficiency of company processes. Shared service centres offer
a number of advantages apart from cost savings, they offer standardized services while introducing
customer-oriented organization and processes. SSCs are organizations that concentrate experts and
experience, thereby enabling the realization of economies of scale and desired synergies.
The current turmoil have impacted not only existing shared services centres, but also plans for building new
ones as well. Most companies are at the moment very vigilant regarding investments in any new process setup and usually require very detailed business case preparation and modeling before they decide to opt for
the SSC.
The objective of the SSC Survey 2012 is to monitor the maturity of existing shared service centres in the
Czech Republic and Slovakia, identify trends within these SSCs (including business processes and their
continual improvement, strategy, etc.) and get the outlooks of SSC owners on the upcoming months. The
SSC Survey 2012 was prepared by PwC Czech Republic and PwC Slovakia with kind support by the
government agency for investment and business development CzechInvest and the Slovak investment and
trade development agency SARIO.
The SSC Study 2012 data collection started firstly in Slovakia in November 2011 and continued with Czech
Republic
R
bli data
d
collection
ll i iin F
February
b
2012. F
From N
November
b 2011 to M
March
h 2012, the
h questionnaire
i
i was sent
to companies we identified as relevant mainly in the area of finance SSCs and other related activities SSCs. A
total of 18 companies in the Czech Republic and 8 companies in Slovakia participated in the survey, which
enables us to present corresponding findings and indicate specifics for both markets, where applicable. The
survey participants represent altogether six different industry areas with around one-third of participants
operating in manufacturing, followed by one-fifth of participants from the banking and insurance area and
the technology sector.
We would like to thank all of the organizations and individuals that took the time and effort to contribute to
our unique survey and provided us with their valuable inputs.
We are happy to provide readers with interesting insights in this area.
On behalf of the SSC survey team.
Prague, Bratislava April 2012
Chris Skirrow
Partner
Czech Republic

PwC

Alica Pavkov
Partner
Slovakia

Management summary and key findings

Management
anagement summa
summary
y and key findings
Our objective was to determine the performance level of existing
Shared Service Centres (SSCs) in the Czech Republic (CZ) and Slovakia
(SK) and classify them using the PwC SSC assessment model - SSC
life cycle model developed by PwC. The results provide an
exclusive overview of how SSCs are currently performing in the Czech
Republic and Slovakia.
The performance of all SSCs has been evaluated against eight
evaluation criteria. These criteria have been aggregated to an overall
performance score which is the basis for assigning each SSC one of
four maturity levels (1 = the least developed, 4 = the most mature).
The results show that the SSCs analyzed are quite balanced in terms of
maturity stage; most of them were assigned the third development
stage of the SSC lifecycle which proves that there is a rather mature
SSC environment in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
About the survey:
26 participants from 2 countries, up to 4 000 employees,
representing 6 industry sectors;
3/4 of them in the 3 main SSC hubs - Prague, Bratislava and
Brno;
Most SSCs were established 5-6 years ago, now reaching their
maturity;
i
Most of the SSCs (85%) situated at Stage 3; only 1 SSC is the
most mature at Stage 4.
Key findings from the respective sections of the survey:
Strategy for the SSC
Cost reduction is still the most important target for SSC projects
Moving
M i up the
th value
l curve iis a k
key ttrend
d ffor mostt SSC
SSCs - quality
q lit
and speed of processing in particular
Most SSCs have clearly defined strategies as expected according
to the level of their maturity stage
Organization/governance/compliance in the SSC
Most SSCs use the cost centre concept with costs allocated based
on services provided
SLAs are in place in more than 70% of SSCs
70% of all SSCs use critical control systems
More than 90% of the SSCs use automatic controls to some
extent; however, only 8% consider that they already automated
the control processes wherever possible and practical
Continuous improvement in the SSC
Six Sigma is the most popular tool employed (30% of SSCs have
Six Sigma),
Sigma) but the majority of SSCs have not yet developed
tools for continuous improvements
Customer relations are key and 70% use regular surveys to
assess the SSCs performance in this respect
PwC

Management summary and key findings

Business processes in the SSC


Only 15% of SSCs place a significant focus on the appointment of
a board to oversee the SSC
There is still space for improving process management and
governance by implementing clearly defined end-to-end process
ownership and finally arriving at a single corporate end-to-end
process owner
Customer relations in the SSC
Half of all SSCs provide services to internal customers only
At least once a year, a satisfaction survey is performed in 69% of
SSCs
Highest quality of services provided is one of the key features of
the service culture in the SSCs
Performance management and HR indicators
77% use balanced scorecard approach and 90% have employee
development plans in place
Systems and technology in the SSC
40% of the companies indicate that the workflow tool is used in
almost
l
all
ll relevant
l
processes
KPIs
Almost half of all SSCs claim to achieve operational cost savings
higher than 30%
Around 15% of survey participants see greater than 70%
improvement in productivity as a result of SSC implementation
73% of all SSCs receive a customer rating as good or very
good
d from
f
more th
than 60% off th
their
i customers
t
Cost reduction targets have been exceeded in 27% of all survey
participants
Outlook
88% of SSCs will continue to operate and do not plan to scale
down the processes
Only 42% confirmed that they would keep the current location if
asked again
The most often cited areas for improvement which the SSCs plan
to work on included: ERP system implementation and its full
operation, Automation of processes, Talent attraction and
retention, Productivity growth, Enlarging the scope of services
provided while at the same time maintaining a good balance of
costs and quality, Attracting new customers

PwC

About the SSC maturity model

About
bout the SSC maturity
matu ity model
Structure and composition of the SSC maturity model
The SSC maturity model allocates SSCs to one of four levels of development
with the '2nd generation SSC' being the highest level. The four maturity
levels are differentiated based on the following eight evaluation criteria:

1. Strategy

Criteria used to select the SSC location, and their respective ranking
Implementation strategy chosen
Evaluation of objectives from today's perspective/at the time of the SSC
implementation; extent to which the initial objectives have been
achieved

2. Organization/governance/compliance

Centre concept of the SSC (cost centre vs. profit centre)


Cost allocation method for services provided
Scope and revision cycle of service level agreements (SLAs)
"Process
Process owner
owner" approach to managing processes
Governance of the SSC
Monitoring of process compliance/use of automated controls

3. Continuous improvement

Systematic and regular analysis of costs and quality


Continuous search for and implementation of optimization measures
Deployment of quality improvement tools
Approach to measuring whether an SSC is meeting its objectives

4. Business p
4
processes

Degree of standardization and automation of processes within the SSC


Degree of standardization and automation of processes in upstream and
downstream processes outside the SSC
Level of process documentation

5. Customer relations

Customer structure (share of internal and external customers)


Service structure within the SSC
Customer orientation in the SSC
Deployment of tools for customer management

6. Performance management

Sophistication of performance management systems in place


Transparency of the performance measurement process
Availability of information related to operational and strategic
management
Definition of measurable performance targets and monitoring of target
achievement
Extent of financial control systems within the SSC

7. Human resource management

Use of different training tools and training types by staff group


Quality of communication between management and staff in the SSC
Approach to linking the performance evaluation of employees to the
definition of development measures
Use of employee satisfaction surveys

8. Systems and technology

PwC

Degree of process automation and standardization of IT systems


Continuous optimization of IT systems
Extent to which electronic workflow and integrated ERP systems are
deployed
IT governance supporting financial control processes

About the SSC maturity model

Overview of the SSSC maturity model phases


Evaluation
criteria

Phase I:
Start-up

Phase II:
Growth

Phase III:
Expansion

Phase IV:
2nd generation SSC

1. Strategy

no SSC-specific targets,
strategies, measures or
implementation plans set

some SSC-specific targets,


strategies, measures or
implementation plans set

SSC-specific targets,
strategies, measures or
implementation plans
set

SSC-specific targets,
strategies, measures or
implementation plans set
regular review of
implementation and
introduction of
countermeasures if required

2. Organization
/Governance
/Compliance

SSC run on cost centre


basis with no allocation of
SSC costs
no SLAs in place
unclear process owner and
manual controls

SSC run on cost centre basis


with fixed allocation of costs
some SLAs in place
multiple process owners
and many automated
controls

SSC run on cost centre


basis with costs
allocated on services
provided
comprehensive SLAs in
place
g end-to-end
single
process owner per
business unit and many
automated controls

SSC run on profit centre


basis with services allocated
based on market prices
comprehensive SLAs in
place and regularly adjusted
single corporate end-to end
process owner and controls
p
automated wherever
possible

3. Continuous
improvement

no improvements made in
relation to costs, quality
and time
Six Sigma, TQM not
deployed

slight improvements made


in relation to costs, quality
and time
Six Sigma, TQM in process
of implementation

some improvements
made in relation to
costs, quality and time
Six Sigma, TQM in
process of
implementation

major improvements made


in relation to costs, quality
and time
Six Sigma, TQM in
continuous use

4. Business
processes

not standardized,
harmonized or automated
simple mass transactions

mainly standardized and


harmonized
simple mass transactions
and some expert services
(centre of expertise)

optimization and
automation of business
processes
simple mass
transactions and expert
services (centre of
expertise)

optimization across the


organization
total services in terms of
holistic processes

5. Customer
relations

internal clients
non-standardized
structure and management
no implementation of
customer support tools

internal and external


customers
focus on efficiency and
effectiveness within SSC
ongoing
implementation of
customer support tools

mostly external customers


focus on contributing value
to the whole company
implemented and regularly
updated customer support
tools

6. Performance
management
(PM)

PM tools (BSC,
benchmarking) not
deployed, used
infrequently
no ICS (internal control
system) implemented
no quality/performance
targets

PM tools (BSC,
benchmarking) being
developed
ICS implemented
quality/performance targets
introduced

PM tools (BSC,
benchmarking) being
implemented
ICS in place
extensive
quality/performance
targets defined

PM tools (BSC,
benchmarking) in
continuous use
comprehensive ICS and
continuous optimization
continuous adjustment of
quality/performance targets

7. Human
resource
management

non-standardized
structure and management
relation of employee
development to
performance evaluation
unsupported
no training/advanced
training system introduced

combining existing
expertise and focus on
professional expertise
relation of employee
development to
performance evaluation
non-standardized
introduction of
training/advanced training
system

professional expertise
and management
development
relation of employee
development to
performance evaluation
extensively designed
comprehensive training
and advanced training
system

service and leadership


culture established
relation of employee
development to
performance evaluation
continually reviewed
continuous improvement to
training and advanced
training system

8. Systems and
technology

multiple systems, no
standardization of ERP
platform
no workflow systems
introduced
no IT governance set up

partially standardized ERP


platform
workflow systems
implemented
low level of IT governance

standardized ERP
platform
extensive deployment of
workflow systems
average level of IT
governance

optimized, modular ERP


systems
organization-wide workflow
systems
high level of IT governance

PwC

mostly internal clients


standardized routine
processes and transactions
ongoing implementation of
customer support tools

About the SSC maturity model

SSC maturity model results


The performance of all SSCs has been evaluated against the eight
evaluation criteria described previously: Strategy,
Organization/governance/compliance, Continuous improvement,
Business processes, Customer relations, Performance management,
Human resource management, Systems and technology.
Each answer provided by the participants in the questionnaire was
translated into one numerical value and then weighted with a
predetermined weight defined in the PwC SSC maturity model.
After all answers to all questions have been weighted, the overall score
was calculated.
Several SSCs scored the highest possible score in one or more areas,
i.e., 100 points. Each overall score for the particular SSC then falls
into the range for one of the four maturity stages.
The results show that some of the SSCs analyzed varied significantly in
terms of their level of development. However, the majority of
participating SSCs (85%) were assigned to Stage 3; i.e., the second
highest category which they could achieve. Only 11% were assigned to
Stage 2 and 4% were assigned to the highest level (Stage 4) in the
overall evaluation. Surprisingly, the results show that no SSC was
assigned
i
d to S
Stage 1, which
hi h indicates
i di
that
h in
i both
b h countries
i the
h SSC
SSCs
were set up rather recently and that the level of maturity is relatively
advanced.
If we compare the overall scoring of SSCs between the Czech Republic
and Slovakia we come to a conclusion that the scoring results are very
similar with the exception of only one SSC which achieved the highest
score and is located in Slovakia.
Number of SSCs per maturity stage
84%

12%

4%

0%

Stage 1

PwC

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Detailed
etailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

PwC

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

1.

The company and SSC profiles

Industry
Participants from six industries,
with manufacturing being the
most represented
p
industryy

As far as the participants pool is concerned, we were able to collect


data from 26 companies in total; 18 have their seat of operation in the
Czech Republic
p
and 8 in Slovakia.
The participants in the survey represented a wide range of large
industry sectors; nevertheless, the strongest participation was in the
following groups:
Manufacturing (ranging from automotive to chemical and
pharmaceutical companies; represented by 31% of participants)
Retail and Consumer products (mostly FMCG retailers;
represented by 19% of participants)
Banking and Insurance (represented by 15% of participants)
Technology (ranging from IT to electrical engineering companies;
represented by 15% of participants).
The remaining participant population was divided between companies
operating in Services (airline, medical and security, general
outsourcing services) and Energy and Telecommunication.
The industry sector division represents both countries the Czech
Republic
bli and
d Sl
Slovakia
ki together.
h
Participation by industry
Manufacturing
Services

15%
31%
8%

Technology
Retail and Consumer

19%
12%
15%

PwC

Energy and
Telecommunication
Banking and Insurance

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Size
The biggest SSC which took part
in the survey employs around
4 000 employees, while the
smallest one employs only 22.
80% of the SSCs employ fewer
than 500 people

Considering size (i.e., the number of employees working in the SSC),


more than 80% of the participating SSCs employ fewer than 500
employees. If we look at the size of the SSCs in greater detail, we come
to the conclusion that the most common size of the surveyed SSCs is
even lower (approximately one-third of all participants employ fewer
than
h 100 employees).
l
Those SSCs that employ more than 500 employees come from
industries such as banking and insurance or technology. Most of the
smaller-sized SSCs (fewer than 500 employees) operate in the
manufacturing sector.
The size of the SSCs varies from 22 to 4 000 employees; the median of
employees working in SSCs in the Czech Republic is 113, and for
Slovakia it is 486 employees. The reason for this difference is due to
th size
the
i off th
the bi
biggestt SSC which
hi h participated
ti i t d iin survey, which
hi h iis
located in Slovakia. On the other side of the range, the smallest SSC
with 22 employees is located in the Czech Republic. In general, we can
say that larger SSCs are more often located in Slovakia than in the
Czech Republic.
Number of staff (FTEs) in the SSC
31%
27%
23%

12%

< 100

PwC

100-249

250-499

4%

4%

500-749

750-1 000

> 1 000

10

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Location
Most of the SSCs are located in
large cities in the Czech Republic
and Slovakia

Regarding the location of the SSCs, we see that they are mostly located
in big cities such as Prague, Brno and Ostrava in the Czech Republic
and Bratislava in Slovakia (these cities account for 82% of all
participants). The location of the SSCs was determined mainly by the
location of the parent company, the availability of skilled workforce
d a good
d iinfrastructure.
f t t
and
Other locations include mainly smaller cities evenly spread out in the
regions of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In Slovakia, all SSCs participating in the survey are located in
Bratislava, except for one which is located in a smaller Slovakian town.
SSC location
29%
9
25%
21%
18%

7%

Prague
g

Brno

Bratislava

Ostrava

Other

Year of establishment
Economy development
influenced the time when SSCs
were implemented

As shown below, most of the SSCs surveyed were established in the


period from 2004 to 2009 (representing up to 80% of the
participants). Only 8% of them were implemented in the last two years.
The curve of SSC implementation over time corresponds with the
overall development of the economy in the Czech Republic and
Slovakia, given that it takes on average one year to implement an SSC.
Most of the SSCs were implemented before the beginning of the
financial crisis.
Year the SSC started operations
48%

20%
12%
8%

4%

8%

2000-2001 2002-2003 2004-2005 2006-2007


6
2008-2009
8
2010-2011

PwC

11

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Processes provided by the SSC


There is a huge variety of services
provided by the SSCs. Three of
the services are implemented in
more than 75% of SSCs; those
services are accounts payable,
acco nts receivable
accounts
recei able and fixed
fi ed
assets accounting

Considering which processes are usually transferred to the SSCs, we


concluded from our survey that the majority of these processes are
transactions-related activities such as accounts payable, accounts
receivable, fixed assets accounting and general ledger accounting.
Travell expenses calculation
T
l l ti and
d iinternal
t
l reporting
ti are other
th examples
l
of typical activities provided by the SSCs.
Fewer than half of the surveyed SSCs provide centralization of IT
processes, taxes, customer services, external reporting, treasury, HR,
procurement, call centres, operations, payroll and research and
development. The category Other stands for logistics and
transportation, marketing and sales support, internal audit and
intercompany reconciliation.
reconciliation
Processes provided by SSCs
Accounts payable

81%

Accounts receivable

81%

Fixed asset accounting

77%

General ledger accounting

62%

Travel expenses calculation

54%

Internal reporting

50%

IT

46%

Taxes

42%

Customer Services

38%

External reporting

31%

HR

31%

Procurement

23%

Call centre

23%

Operations

23%

Payroll

15%

Research & Development

15%

Other

PwC

35%

Treasury

46%

12

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Who processed the questionnaire


The survey was completed by
the head of the SSC for 65% of
the companies

The majority of questionnaires representing overall 65% of all surveyed


companies were processed by the head of the particular SSC.
Alternatively, the questionnaires were answered and processed also by
the head of accounting, the head of controlling and the chief financial
officer.
Position of the staff who processed the
questionnaires in the companies surveyed
Head of SSC

69%

Head of accounting

Chief Financial Officer

Head of controlling

PwC

19%

8%

4%

13

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

2. Strategy
The current trend indicates
demand for a significant
increase in the quality and
efficiency of SSC services

Based on the survey, the strategy and key objectives of SSCs have
developed significantly since the SSCs were established. While cost
reductions are still considered important to most of the SSCs, there are
other strategic objectives emerging. Most notable is an increasing
demand for improving
p
g the q
qualityy of services p
provided byy the SSC and
the need to provide faster service. These are objectives requiring a
more stable labor force and reliable processes and control
environment.
Transparency improvements (relating to data, processes, systems,
costs and services) represent those objectives whose importance grew
during the SSC development cycle. The complexity and the ambiguity
of processes may be a significant hindrance to the SSCs performance.
Moreover, when it comes to cost allocations, the transparency of the
processes and the costing methods is essential for acceptance of the
cost charges for services and for proactive cost management.
Other objectives that gained importance included language skills,
training costs and end-to-end process management. We assume that
these objectives are mentioned mainly due to the fact that their
importance is rising and represent potential further indicators for the
SSC implementation phase.
Overall in this assessment, the SSCs located in Slovakia indicated
slightly lower importance (0,1 to 0,3 less than average figures below) in
the majority of the criteria compared to those in the Czech Republic,
with the exception of Quality improvements (0,2 above average in
Slovakia).
Comparison of the importance given to
objectives before SSC implementation and
today
5,2
5,2

Cost reductions
4,3

Quality improvements

Faster service

5,3
3,3

Transparency
improvements
Other

4,2
4,3
4,8
4,7
5,3

Importance of the objectives at the time the SSC was implemented


Importance of the objectives from todays perspective
The scale of answers: 1 - low importance; 6 - high importance.

PwC

14

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Defined strategy and objectives,


and measures taken to
implement and control them,
indicate the developed stage of
the SSCs

Most of the surveyed companies have stated that they have clearly
defined strategies and objectives for their SSCs. Clearly defined
strategies and objectives and the measures in place to keep the
implementation plans on track represent indicators of developed
stages of the SSC lifecycle.
The majority of surveyed SSCs have specific measures to implement
th strategy
the
t t
and
d use comprehensive
h
i iimplementation
l
t ti plans.
l
O
Over 70%
of respondents also continuously review implementation plans
together with variance analysis and management.
The objectives and the strategies go hand in hand as most of the SSCs
that have well established objectives also have clear strategies to reach
them and specific measures to implement these strategies. One area
where the SSCs show a slight need for improvement is in defining a
detailed implementation plan and regularly reviewing the status of the
implementation.
Another development opportunity for SSCs is to design and
implement crucial control environment and mechanisms to ensure the
successful delivery of strategic objectives.
SSCs located in Slovakia indicate that, compared to those in the Czech
Republic, the first and last statement is less applicable (0,3 to 0,6 less
than below average). Other statements were assessed similarly.
Strategy for SSCs
Objectives for the SSC were clearly
defined

5,2

Strategy to reach the objectives of the


SSC was clearly defined
Specific measures to implement the
strategy were defined
Detailed and comprehensive
implementation plan (including
milestones) for all measures was defined
Status of the implementation plan is
regularly reviewed
If the deviations from the
implementation plan are detected, the
countermeasures are immediately took

4,8

4,5

4,3

4,6

4,3

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

PwC

15

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

3. Organization, governance and


compliance in the SSC
The cost centre concept with
costs allocated based on
services provided dominates the
SSCs in the survey

The majority of SSCs (81%) participating in the study operate as cost


centres with costs allocated based on services provided. This is an
important development point in the SSC lifecycle, which leads to better
cost management
management. Companies are able to better understand the
operational costs with transparent cost allocations based on actual
services consumed. This environment also creates pressure to
eliminate non-value added activities.
There are still some SSCs in the Czech and Slovak region with either no
costs allocation (4%) or fixed costs allocation (12%). These are usually
SSCs with a limited scope and are not considered as strategic units
within their companies evidenced by a lower focus on clearly defining
objectives and strategies.

Service charges based on the


market price can provide a
transparent benchmark to the
costs of providing the services

Only one SSC that participated in the survey operates on the basis of a
profit centre. The advantages of this concept are that it changes the
strategic position of the SSC within the company and tends to lead to
higher productivity and comprehensive and market-based SLAs.
Service charges based on the market price create a transparent
benchmark to the costs of p
b
provisioning
g and create additional p
pressure
on the SSC to provide the services on the most efficient basis, as the
costs should be justified, the SSC should meet its profit targets.
SSC centre concept including the way in which
costs are allocated

4%

4%

Costt centre,
C
t with
ith costs
t allocated
ll t d
based on services provided

12%
Cost centre, with fixed allocation of
costs

Profit centre, with services


allocated on a market price basis
80%
Cost centre, with no allocation of
costs

PwC

16

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

More than 70% of SSCs have


comprehensive SLAs in place

More than 70% of the SSCs in the survey reported that they have
comprehensive SLAs in place, with 46% of them regularly reviewing
and updating for changes in scope. Comprehensive SLAs indicate high
ranking in the SSCs life cycle classification and encourage strong
customer orientation with close relationships with customers
regarding service provision and the scope and quality of services.
Still, more th
Still
than 25% off the
th SSCs
SSC have
h
service-based
i b d costt allocations
ll ti
iin
place that are not accompanied with corresponding comprehensive
SLAs. This situation, where costs are charged based on the services
provided but the corresponding SLAs are missing, can negatively
affect the relationship between the SSC and its internal customers.
This holds back the development of the SSC into further stages.
Moreover, it may have an adverse effect on pursuing cost savings and
increasing SSC operational effectiveness.
A developed set of comprehensive SLAs is often a prerequisite for the
SSC to be considered as a more strategic standalone unit within the
company. Such SSC usually has better governance processes at the
strategic and operational level, often carried out by the appointed SSC
board, and a defined set of operational procedures to resolve problems
between the SSC and its customers.
Level of use of SLAs between the SSC and the
retained organization
No SLAs

8%
19%

Some SLAs in place

46%
Comprehensive SLAs in place

27%

PwC

Comprehensive SLAs in place that


are continually reviewed and
updated for changes in scope

17

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

SSCs continually gain strategic


importance within their
organizations, but there is still
room for improvement

Although the strategic importance of the SSCs grew within their


organization, there is still room to grow. While defined procedures to
resolve operational issues between SSCs and their customers do exist
in most cases, a more strategic view on governance is often omitted,
with only 15% of SSCs placing significant focus on the appointment of
a board to oversee the SSCs governance. Appointment of a board was
considered by SSCs from Slovakia as more applicable than average
(1 0 above
(1,0
b
the
th average).
)
SSC Governance
We always solve operational problems
arising between SSC and customers using
a clearly defined formal set of procedures

4,0

We appoint a Board consisting of SSC


officers and SSC customers to govern the
SSC

3,0

The SSC acts as a stand-alone unit within


the company

4,2

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

The majority of SSCs operate in


the environment of multiple
process ownership with varying
distribution of responsibilities

Almost 50% of the SSCs in Slovakia and the Czech Republic assign
multiple process ownership with discrete owners defined either by
activity or by business entity. This is an indication of a developmental
stage of the process management within the SSCs where the
governance is organized functionally or on a regional/business unit
basis rather than by end-to-end processes. So there is still lots of room
for improving process management and governance by implementing
clearly defined end-to-end process ownership and finally arriving at a
single corporate end-to-end
end to end process owner.
Governance of end-to-end process in the SSC
organization
End-to-end process ownership is unclear
in the organisation

8%

Multiple process owners defined by


activityy and business entityy

48%

Single end-to-end process owner within


each function or business unit
Single corporate end-to-end process
owner

PwC

36%

8%

18

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

SSCs have strong controls for


their financial, operational and
compliance needs

The vast majority of the SSCs claim that they have key financial,
operational and compliance controls in place, which indicates a solid
control environment. However, these controls are not equally
reviewed for effectiveness and for the appropriateness to the risks the
organizations face.
69% of the SSCs review their controls for effectiveness, tailor them for
the risks
th
i k and
d assurance th
they provide,
id and
d monitor
it th
them over an
established testing programme. Many of these SSCs have already
implemented end-to-end process ownership and governance which
enables higher transparency and effective control measures which are
easy to test and track.
23% of the SSCs have the key controls determined but see them as
excessive compared to the relative risk, and of these, more than twothirds assign multiple ownership to processes (see previous question)
which lack an end-to-end perspective. This may create ambiguity
regarding the relevancy of the controls and can make revising the
controls more difficult.
The SSCs with little or no assessments of the key controls are either in
the early phases that provide mostly transactional processes with a
limited focus on more complex, value-added services, or operate in a
relatively simple environment.
environment
Current state of the SSCs regarding the key
controls
Key controls critically reviewed for
effectiveness and tailored for risk and the
assurance they provide, monitored
through an established testing
programme

69%

Key controls determined,


determined but the number
felt to be excessive when compared to
relative risk, and/or the controls not yet
subjected to any review
Little or no assessment as to what are the
key controls

PwC

23%

8%

19

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

The majority of the SSCs


introduced automated controls,
although many of them are
willing to extend their use

More than 90% of the SSCs use automatic controls to some extent, but
only 8% believe that they have already automated the control process
wherever possible and practical. All of the SSCs with the highest
development indicator are located in Slovakia.
That leaves the rest of the SSCs with an opportunity to review the
control processes that are not yet automated and where labouri t
intensive
i manuall iinterventions
t
ti
can b
be eliminated.
li i t d Thi
This potential,
t ti l if
realized, may quickly lead to cost savings and also relieve the
workforce time to value-added activities.
SSCs that use generally manual controls or that havent assessed the
scope for development of automated controls do not have particular
common characteristics in terms of scope, strategy or governance. The
majority of SSCs indicating this level of controls are located in the
Czech Republic
Republic. However
However, some of the SSCs in this group were
established only recently (in the period of 20072011), so they might
still be in the building phase and havent yet been able to re-focus on
streamlining the processes and controls across the organization.
Current state of the SSCs regarding the control
automation
Controls manual and labour intensive

19%

Many automated controls designed,


operating effectively

Controls automated only when possible


and practical

PwC

73%

8%

20

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

4. Continuous improvement in the SSC


The SSCs that employed
continuous improvement methods
can benefit from them

Continuous improvement reflects the optimization of the SSCs from


the perspective of costs, quality and time. SSCs in the survey are strong
in terms of the outlook for potential optimization in all the processes
which are under their responsibility. On the other hand, not too many
of them g
go beyond
y
and look for opportunities
pp
to improve
p
upstream
p
and
downstream processes outside of their primary scope.
The SSCs place a generally lower emphasis on carrying out practical
workshops on quality management. The workshops are far more often
carried out by SSCs that already employed continuous improvement
methods such as Six Sigma or Total Quality Management (TQM),
which implies that the workshops are seen as common tools embedded
with these methods. Also, most of the SSCs that placed a low emphasis
on carrying out such workshops dont have continuous improvement
methods implemented.
The environment of continuous improvement was generally slightly
more favourable for SSCs located in Slovakia, which indicated higher
agreement with the below statements (0,2 to 0,5 above the average).
SSC's approach to the costs and quality
Our SSC regularly reviews its customer
service for potential quality
improvements
Our SSC regularly runs workshops on
quality management

4,5

3,4

Our SSC is always on the lookout for


potential optimisation in upstream and
downstream processes even where these
are not the SSC's responsibility

4,5

Our SSC is always on the lookout for


potential optimisation in all processes
which are the SSCs responsibility
Our SSC regularly carries out in-depth
quality analyses (e.g. as part of
benchmark analyses)
Our SSC regularly carries out in-depth
cost analyses (e.g. as part of benchmark
analyses)

5,2

4,5

4,6

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

SSCs make a significant


contribution to the optimization
of the organization as a whole

PwC

The value the SSCs contribute to the company as a whole is regularly


analyzed by most of the companies. The companies also agree that the
SSCs make a significant contribution and that the SSCs
SSCs innovations in
products and services provide substantial support to the success of the
company as a whole.

21

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Value contribution to the entire organization is perceived as relatively


high by the majority of the SSCs. Practically, the value contribution is
understood by most of the companies as cost savings or a form of
working capital improvement.
SSC's value contribution to the organization
SSC innovations
SSCs
i
ti
iin products
d t and
d
services provide substantial support to
the success of the company as a whole

4,0

SSC makes a significant contribution to


the optimisation of the organisation as a
whole

4,7

SSC contribution to the company as a


whole is analyzed regularly

4,5

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

Six Sigma is the most popular


tool employed, but there is great
potential to employ other
methodologies

The most common tool for continuous improvement employed by the


SSCs is Six Sigma methodology (31%); fewer SSCs go further to
implement the more complex TQM philosophy. However, besides Six
Sigma, the vast majority of the SSCs do not employ any other tool
which provides a significant opportunity for future development.
development
Other methods used by the SSCs included Lean and 5S.
Deployment of tools for continuous
improvement
54%
Not employed

Being implememented and developed

84%
81%
15%
8%
15%
31%

In continuous use

Six Sigma

PwC

8%
4%

Total Quality Management

Other

22

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

SSCs that employ Six Sigma and


Lean tools claim major
improvements more often

Based on the survey results, 38% of the SSCs claim they made major
improvements of in-scope functions and associated business
processes; of these, more than two-thirds have Six Sigma or Lean or
5S tools implemented.
The rest of the SSCs that report slight or some improvements are
mostly in the phase of implementation of some continuous
i
improvement
t tools
t l or d
do nott employ
l any off th
them. N
Notably,
t bl th
the SSC
SSCs
that only achieved slight improvements do not use any of the
methodologies or tools.
Improvement of in-scope functions and
associated business processes in relation to
cost, quality and time

Major improvements
38%

Slight improvements

50%
Some improvements

12%

Clear sponsorship and


accountability for major change
projects are considered
important
p

The SSCs in the study mostly (60%) agree that they have clear
sponsorship in place for their change projects. This statement
confirms that the SSCs understand the importance of clearly defined
and assigned
g
responsibility
p
y and accountabilityy for major
j change
g
projects, which is proven by the fact that more than 50% of SSCs that
agreed with this statement achieved major improvements last year.
There is clear sponsorship, responsibility
and accountability for all major change
projects for activities in the SSCs scope
12%
Agree
Disagree

24%
60%

Sometimes, this is true


Unsure

4%

PwC

23

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

There is a strong correlation


between clear definition and
communication of the
objectives of the change project
and the subsequent quality of
co-operation between
departments on the change
efforts
ff t

The improvement projects often impact the way the processes and
activities are carried out and affect the communication flows and
responsibility distribution between different functions and
departments in the SSC or the company as a whole. Strong
communication of the changes and clear definition of the change
objectives and benefits are therefore essential for successful
improvement plan implementation.
Change projects impacting activities in the
SSCs scope have clearly defined and
communicated objectives and benefits

8%
Agree
g ee
Disagree
48%
40%

Sometimes, this is true


Unsure

4%

The study reveals that there is an important correlation between clear


definition and communication of the objectives and benefits of the
change project on one side and the quality of communication and cooperation between departments during the change efforts on the other
side.
During
g past
p
change
g efforts,, communication
and co-operation between departments across
the company have been strong

8%
Agree
40%
4

Disagree
g
Sometimes, this is true
Unsure

48%
4%

PwC

24

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

5.
Only 12% of the SSCs consider
their level of standardization as
low

Business processes in the SSC

Focusing on the level of standardization, all surveyed SSCs achieve at


least some level of process standardization. While 42% of the surveyed
population has highly standardized processes (which means that 75%
or more of the processes are standardized and follow the common core
process without exception),
p
p
the medium level was claimed byy 46% of
the SSCs. Only 12% of respondents said their level of standardization is
lower than 25%.
Extent to which processes are standardized and
follow a common core process without
exception

12%
High (>75%)
42%

Medium (25-75%)
Low (<25%)

46%

Processes and services under


the responsibility of the SSCs
are usually standardized, while
both upstream and downstream
processes are often
ft nott
standardized

The SSCs also generally agree that all dedicated processes and services
which are within their responsibility are standardized in relation to the
costs and benefits. On the other hand, upstream and downstream
processes, which are not the responsibility of the SSC, are often not
standardized.
t d di d
The surveyed SSCs mostly agree that they see even greater potential for
optimization through the standardization of their processes and
services.
Standardization of processes in SSCs
We see even greater potential for
optimisation through standardization of
our processes (services)
All upstream and downstream processes
(services), which are not the
responsibility of the SSC, are
standardized

4,6

3,2

All dedicated processes (services), which


p
y, are
are the SSC's responsibility,
standardized

4,7

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

PwC

25

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

The standard process of


documentation exists in almost
all the SSCs, while only 56% of
them update those processes

SSCs in Slovakia indicate slightly higher standardization of the SSC


processes compared to the average (+0,2); SSCs in the Czech Republic
see significantly higher potential for further optimization (+0,7).
Analyzing the level of documentation, only 4% of surveyed SSCs claim
no or little standard process of documentation. For some 40% of SSCs,
documentation exists for all processes but is not regularly updated and
needs
d some enhancement.
h
t
The majority (56%) said that the level of documentation maintained
for internal control and compliance purposes has been optimized and
is reviewed on a regular basis.
SSCs in Slovakia assessed the level of documentation as slightly higher
than the average level in the survey.
Level of process documentation
Documentation exist for all
processes, not regularly
updated, needs some
enhancement
40%

Little or no standard process


documentation exists

56%

4%

Documentation exist for


internal control and compliance
purposes, optimised and
reviewed on a regular basis

A trend similar to the case of process standardization was observed in


the process automation. Nevertheless, based on the strength of
agreements regarding the process automation,
automation the level of automation
is perceived as generally lower compared to the level of
standardization.

PwC

26

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Automation follows a similar


trend as standardization, but
holds a lower level

Generally, the upstream and downstream processes which are not


within the responsibility of the SSCs are usually not automated.
On the other hand, all dedicated processes and services which are
within the responsibility of the SSCs are often automated, but the
majority of the surveyed SSCs agree that they see even greater
potential for process optimization through deployment of the latest
automation technologies.
Automation of processes in SSCs
We see even greater potential for
optimisation through deployment of the
latest automation technologies
All the SSCs upstream and downstream
processes (services) which are not the
responsibility of the SSC are automated
Our SSC has automated (in relation to
cost/benefit) all dedicated processes and
procedures (services) which are the SSC's
responsibility

4,9

2,9

3,5

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

PwC

27

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

6. Customer relations
Half of all SSCs provide services
to internal customers only

Customer relations is one of the key areas for any SSC. The satisfaction
or dissatisfaction of its customers provides a clear picture of the
performance of the SSC and the quality of the services provided.
Depending on the orientation of the SSC, it can serve internal
customers, external customers or a combination of these two g
groups.
p
Based on the data received as part of this survey, half of all SSCs
provide services to internal customers and half serve both internal and
external customers. Almost one-third of all SSCs provide services
nearly equally to both groups. SSCs in the Czech Republic are more
oriented on internal customers compared to the overall survey average.
Customer base for SSC services
50%

30%

12%

Internal customers

At least once a year, a


satisfaction survey is performed
in 69% of all SSCs

Mostly internal
customers

8%

Mixture of internal
and external
customers

Mostly external
customers

Periodical reviews of customer satisfaction are key elements of


ascertaining whether the quality of services provided meets the
expectations of customers. A customer satisfaction survey is one of the
tools used to g
get the voice of the customer about the SSC services.
The frequency of customer satisfaction surveys depends largely on the
total number of customers and is most often done annually or even
more frequently (69% of all participants perform the survey at least
once a year). Only 4% of all participants do not perform any kind of
customer satisfaction survey.
Customer surveys were identified as slightly more frequent for SSCs in
Slovakia.
Frequency off customer satisfaction
i f
i
surveys
38%
31%

27%

4%
4
More than once a
year

PwC

Annually

Occasionally (Less
than once a year)

Never

28

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Tools to manage and retain


customers are more often used for
external customers

To fully benefit from the potential of the customer -supplier


relationship, the SSC can use several tools to manage and retain its
customers, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management). At the
moment, the usage of such tools is mostly limited (for almost 48% of
survey participants). Just less than one-third of all participants use
such tools continuously. If we look at the customer base shown
previously which consists of internal customers, in 50% of all cases, we
can see th
thatt th
the use off ttools
l tto manage and
d retain
t i customers
t
corresponds with the spread of the internal and external customer
base.
Usage of tools to manage and retain customers
in the SSC

24%

28%

Continues
Limited
None

48%

Usage of tools to manage and retain customers in the


SSC and the customer base

Continues

20% 20%

Limited

16%

None

12%
8%

8%
4%

4% 4%

4%
0%
%

Internal customers Mixture of internal


and external
customers

PwC

Mostly external
customers

0%
%
Mostly internal
customers

29

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Customer satisfaction surveys


are the most common tool for
ascertaining the proper
orientation on customers

Orientation on customers is one of the key features of a successful SSC


and can be promoted by the use of several tools. Among the most
frequently tools are customer satisfaction surveys (applied by 88% of
all SSCs participating in the survey), a helpdesk tool and automated
complaints management and tracking tools. Other tools used included
online tools, service request tracking tools, regular site visits, regular
internal meetings, monitoring of escalated complaints and feedback
mailboxes.
ilb
Use of tools to support orientation on
customers
Customer satisfaction surveys

88%

Helpdesk

The highest quality of services


provided is one of the key
features of the service culture in
the SSCs

50%

Automated complaints management


and tracking tools

27%

Other

27%

Regarding the continuous improvement of the service culture, the


highest quality of service provided to customers by all staff is seen as
being almost always present, and the promotion of new ideas within
the SSC team to improve the quality of services provided to customers
is also applicable. The least frequent situation is regular proactive
listing of areas for improvement by the SSC staff; this area shows some
potential for improvement. When it comes to new ideas on providing
customers with improved benefits, SSCs located in Slovakia indicate
slightly higher scores compared to the survey average.
Service culture applied in the SSC
All SSC staff is always trying to provide
services that are of the highest quality
from the customer's perspective

4,8

All SSC staff is continuously working to


improve the quality of services from the
customers perspective
All SSC staff regularly comes up with
ideas for improving the services provided

4,5

3,8

New ideas on providing our customers


with improved benefits are promoted
within the SSC team

4,7

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

PwC

30

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

SSCs see customer orientation


as one of the key features of
their working culture

Fully applied customer orientation means being able to quickly adapt


to the individual needs of single customers, regularly ask for their
opinions on the quality of the services provided and implement their
suggestions. Overall, the SSCs feel these areas are rather developed
and used within their organization; SSCs located in Slovakia indicate a
slightly higher level of this customer orientation aspect than the survey
average.
Orientation on customers in the SSC
Our SSC can always respond flexibly to
our customers requests (e.g. individual
services)

4,4

Our SSC regularly asks its customers


how satisfied they are with the quality of
the services provided

Our SSC implements its customers


suggestions for improvement within
reasonable time

4,8

4,4

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

PwC

31

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

7.
Balanced scorecards are widely
used, but not many SSCs
consider their balanced
scorecard as a mature
performance management tool

Performance management

According to our survey, balanced scorecards are the most used


performance management tool by the SSCs, followed closely by
benchmarking. The category Other included internal performance
management tools, SLA-based tools or other types of KPI management
tools.
Management performance tools used in the
SSC
Balanced scorecards (KPIs)

77%

Benchmarking

69%

Management Information Systems


(MIS)

Other

Performance targets are a


favorite tool for monitoring
g and
managing the performance for
individuals, functions and
processes.

38%

15%

As far as performance targets are concerned, the participants were


asked in the surveyy about three p
possible areas for p
performance
targets: individuals, functions and processes. 88% of all SSCs have to
some extent set targets on the performance of concrete individuals.
Moreover, more than half of all SSCs claim they have set these
performance targets for individuals for more than 75% of cases. Only
12% claim they have no performance targets for individuals at all. The
lack of proper target setting may be caused by the lower maturity of
the SSCs which still need some time to finalize the basic processes.
Extent to which SSCs have performance targets
for individuals

12%
6%

None
Low (< 25%)
Medium (25-75%)

53%
29%

PwC

High (>75%)

32

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

All SSCs have performance targets for functions in place to some


extent. The coverage of more than 75% of functions by performance
targets is claimed by 40% of the SSCs. The same portion of SSCs claim
to have coverage of 25-75% of functions.
Extent to which SSCs have performance targets
for functions
0%
None

20%

Low (< 25%)

40%

Medium (25-75%)
High (>75%)

40%

As with performance targets for functions, all SSCs claim to have


performance targets for processes to some extent. More than 75% of
processes are covered by performance targets at 64% of all SSCs
providing information about this performance management setup.
Extent to which SSCs have performance
targets for processes
0%

14%

None
Low (< 25%)
21%

64%

PwC

Medium (25-75%)
High (>75%)

33

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Benchmarks are frequently


used by 38% of the SSCs

46% of the SSCs say that their reports are prepared by using balanced
scorecards but consider future development as necessary.
Furthermore, 23% of organizations consider their balanced scorecard
already matured with both financial and non-financial metrics. The
remaining SSCs are in the earlier stages of the performance
management reporting, where 19% of SSCs are currently working on
development or they are in the early stages of use, and 12% of
organizations
i ti
said
id that
th t there
th
iis no d
development
l
t iin thi
this area.
Extent to which an integrated balance
scorecard or a similar process which combines
operational and financial measures has been
developed
No development
12%

23%

19%

Currently being developed; early


stages of use
Reports are generated using
balanced scorecard but
refinements required

46%

Mature balanced scorecard


programme with both financial
and non-financial metrics

Benchmarks are used to evaluate the SSC frequently or on a regular


basis for all services provided by 38% of SSCs, and a similar number of
respondents state that they use benchmarks to evaluate the SSC
occasionally when empirical data is required. The remaining SSCs use
benchmarking in their evaluation processes infrequently.
Extent to which benchmarks are used to
evaluate the SSC

Infrequently
23%
Occasionally, when
empirical data is required

38%
3

38%

PwC

Frequently, on a regular
basis for all services
provided

34

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Key areas of the SSCs KPIs


focus on time, quality and
cost/efficiency

The SSCs performance targets seem to be quite advanced in most of


the surveyed SSCs. However, the most applicable approach is a regular
review of SSC performance against targets, with the next most
applicable approach being SSC performance targets reviewed at
regular intervals. When it comes to setting unambiguous performance
goals, SSCs in the Czech Republic indicated significantly higher
compliance with this statement compared to the overall average.
SSC's performance targets
Our SSC has set unambiguous
performance goals

4,6

In our SSC performance is reviewed


regularly against targets

In our SSC performance targets are


reviewed on regular intervals

5,1

5,0

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

As part of the performance management system, every SSC is using its


own set of defined KPIs. Those mentioned in the survey can be divided
i t th
into
three k
key areas: Ti
Time, Q
Quality
lit and
dC
Cost/Efficiency.
t/Effi i
These three areas need to be balanced to meet the strategic criteria of
the particular SSC, which should include definition of priorities for
each of them.
Within the survey, we observed mainly the following types of KPIs in
the three areas:
Time

On time customer delivery (AP invoices paid on time


time, report
submission on time, etc.)

Meeting project/implementation deadlines


Quality

Quality meeting SLA standards or measured by customer


satisfaction surveys

Other (No audit findings, Attrition rate)


Cost/Efficiency

FTE productivity/performance (transactions processed per FTE,


processing time per transaction, number of manual transactions,
etc.)

Cost (Meeting cost budget, Cost of SSC as % of sales or cost per


transactions, etc.)

Process efficiency measures (Days for processing backlog, Days


sales outstanding as % of sales or other similar measure)

PwC

35

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

8. Human resource management


Nearly all of the SSCs use
standardized employee
development plans

One of the key elements supporting a high performance culture in the


SSCs is employee motivation and development, which should be
accompanied by a system of standardized development plans. Almost
every organization in the survey has to some degree such employee
development
p
p
plans in p
place. Almost 90% of SSCs involved in this
survey have standardized employee development plans, out of which
62% have them linked to manager performance; the rest (26%) of the
organizations have them standardized but not linked to manager
performance. Only 12% of organizations have no standardization
involved in employee development plans.
Characterization of employee development
plans as they relate to performance evaluations
i the
in
th organizations
i ti

12%

Non-standardised

26%

Standardised but not linked to


manager performance

62%
Standardised and linked to
manager performance

Open top-down communication


is an important management
t l
tool

Open communication in all SSCs is understood to be an important


management tool, and the overall practice confirms that an open topd
down
communication
i ti iis th
the right
i ht approach.
h A slightly
li htl llower llevell off
maturity, compared to the top-down approach, is perceived in the
peers communication and an even lower maturity level for the bottomup communication. Given that the survey was generally completed by
senior executives, we assume that the scores achieved especially by the
bottom-up and top-down communication approach might be partly
influenced by this fact.
Communication throughout the SSC
In our SSC, information is transmitted in
an open and prompt manner between
staff at the same level in the
organisational hierarchy
In our SSC, information is transmitted in
an open and prompt manner by junior
staff throughout the organisational
hierarchy (bottom-up)
In our SSC,, information is transmitted in
an open and prompt manner by managers
to all junior staff throughout the
organisational hierarchy (top-down)

4,7

4,2

5,2

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

PwC

36

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

Employee satisfaction surveys are


used regularly by 80% of all SSCs
as a tool to listen to the voice of
the staff

Employee satisfaction surveys are performed at least annually in 80%


of SSCs, bi-annually for 12% and quarterly for 4%. Only 20% of the
survey participants indicate that employee satisfaction surveys are not
used as a regular tool.
Frequency of employee satisfaction surveys

20%

Annually
Bi-annually

4%

Quarterly

12%
64%

Only 14% of all SSCs participating


in the survey indicate a turnover
rate higher than 20% over the last
three years

Rarelyy or Never

One of the key indicators of the maturity of the SSCs HR management


is the staff turnover indicator. For half of the SSCs, the staff turnover
rate over the last 3 years has been between 5 and 10%; for 86% of the
SSCs the turnover rate has been below 20%,
SSCs,
20% and only 14% of the SSCs
indicate a turnover rate higher than 20%. Keeping in mind the fact that
the majority of the SSCs were established between the years 20062007, we expect that the services were in a ramp-up phase and only
recently have become more stable, which in turn enabled the SSC
management to focus more on monitoring the staff turnover and other
people aspects.
Average level of staff turnover over the last 3
years

14%
5-10%
50%
36%

PwC

11-20%
>20%
%

37

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

More than half of all SSC staff


hold graduate or postgraduate
university degrees

More than half of the staff of the participating SSCs hold a university
degree, out of which 7% hold a postgraduate degree. The staff with a
university degree represents 47% for SSCs in the Czech Republic (out
of which 5% hold a postgraduate degree) and 72% in Slovakia (out of
which 10% hold a postgraduate degree).
Employment of university graduates in the SSCs is a very common
phenomenon
h
iin th
the region
i given
i
th
the specific
ifi requirements
i
t off the
th SSCs,
SSC
such as a good level of multiple languages and specific technical or IT
skills which can be found just with university graduates.
Education ratio of the SSC staff

7%

high school degree

bachelor/university
degree

45%
48%

Sponsored professional and


technical certifications are
frequent motivational tools

postgraduate
degree

Professional or technical certifications sponsored by the SSCs can be


used as further motivating and developmental tools applied by the
SSCs management. Among the most frequent ones, we can find such
certifications as ACCA, Lean Six Sigma and local chartered accountant
programmes. Lean Six Sigma certifications correlate with 31% of the
SSCs where Six Sigma methodology is used as a process improvement
tool.
Professional / Technical certifications
encouraged
ACCA

46%

Lean Six Sigma

46%

Czech/Slovak Certified Accountant

27%

Internally Developed Professional


Programme

23%

CIMA
CPA

15%
8%

IT certifications
Other

PwC

19%
12%

38

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

9. Systems and technology


Electronic workflow is used in
almost all of the surveyed SSCs;
however, large potential for
improvements is still inherent
in the workflow systems

The use of electronic workflow is relevant to nearly all of the SSCs in


the survey, where more than 40% of the companies indicate that this
tool is used in almost all relevant processes.
The regular
g
review and identification of p
potential for improvement
p
is
on the other hand less relevant to the SSCs in general, although for the
SSCs located in Slovakia this approach is used more intensively (score
0,7 above the overall average).
Further areas for improvement and optimization of the electronic
workflow are seen as the most relevant for the SSCs, more so for SSCs
located in the Czech Republic. From the above statements, we derive
that the level of development of the workflow tool is relatively more
advanced in the SSCs in Slovakia, although further development and
optimization are planned in the Czech SSCs.
Extent to which electronic workflow systems
are used
Our SSC uses electronic workflow
systems for all processes and procedures
where relevant
We regularly review our electronic
workflow systems to identify potential for
optimisation

4,1

3,9

We still see a large potential for


optimisation in our electronic workflow
systems

4,5

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

SSCs see potential in further


standardization and
optimization of ERP systems

From th
F
the perspective
ti off ERP systems,
t
the
th majority
j it off SSC
SSCs iindicated
di t d
that systems are mostly standardized both within the SSC and frontend.
Extent of optimization process regarding the
ERP system
We have a standardised ERP
system/platform (same release and
customising systems) across the whole
We use the same pre-systems (front-end
systems) for each function (same release
and customising systems)
We regularly review our ERP system to
identify potential for optimisation

4,4

3,7

4,0

We still see a large potential for


p
in our ERP system
y
optimisation

4,3

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

PwC

39

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

SSCs do not see large potential


in IT governance optimization,
although regular review of IT
governance is performed by the
vast majority of them

Areas for further standardization and further optimization are


perceived as relevant, especially by the SSCs located in the Czech
Republic (score 0,5 above the overall average).
Most of the SSCs state that the IT governance structure and control
environment are at an advanced level. This level is also documented by
very strong confirmation of the ability to document conflicts that may
arise
i within
ithi th
the IT system.
t
It is not surprising that large potential for further optimization is
generally not expected in this area, although it is still to some extent
anticipated. In nearly all the SSCs, opportunities for optimization are
consistently identified and pursued by regular review of the IT
governance structure.
Extent of IT Governance applied
pp
in the SSC
We still see a large potential for
optimisation in our IT governance
structure
We regularly review our IT governance
structure to identify potential for
optimisation
We can document conflicts within the IT
system at all times (e.g. system
authorisations)

3,5

We have implemented comprehensive


control processes within the IT system
We have implemented a standardised IT
governance structure in our SSC

4,7

5,0

4,8

5,0

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

PwC

40

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

10. KPIs
Almost half of all SSC
participants claim to achieve
operational cost savings
higher than 30%

The performance of the SSCs was measured by several qualitative and


quantitative criteria regarding the operational costs savings, data about
productivity and customer satisfaction complimented by the evaluation
made by employees.
In respect
p
of the maturityy evaluation and the operational
p
savings,
g in
general, the higher the stage of the maturity model, the higher cost
savings and higher customer and employee satisfaction rates.
Almost half of all SSCs claim that the savings on operational costs
realized after the implementation of the SSC reached more than 30%.
On the other hand, it should be noted that almost 40% of all
respondents did not provide any information regarding the operational
costs savings. The reasons for the lack of information might be the
early stage of some SSCs that lack relevant results or the fact that it is
still too early to measure particular cost savings.
Savings of operational costs as a result of SSC
implementation
42%

0%
< 15%

Around 15% of survey


participants see greater than
70% improvement in
productivity as a result of SSC
implementation

8%

8%

20-24%

25-30%

4%
15-19%

> 30%

38%

No
information
available

Information about productivity increase as a result of SSC


implementation was provided by only half of the SSCs as the other half
has claimed lack of supporting data and evidence. Nevertheless,
around 15% of all participants have seen an improvement in
productivity greater than 70%.
Improvement of productivity as a result of SSC
implementation
50%

23%
15%

12%
0%
< 49%

PwC

5059%

6070%

> 70%

No information
available

41

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

73% of all SSCs receive a


customer rating as good or
very good from more than
60% of the customers

The customer satisfaction section shows that the more mature the SSC
is, the more satisfied the customers are, as more than 70% of SSCs
which were evaluated as being in Stage 3 of the evaluation model
achieved the customer ratings good or very good by more than 60%
of customers. Overall, nearly 40% of all SSCs indicate that their
services are at a good or very good level in the view of more than
70% of their customers.
Percentage of customers who rate the SSC's
services as 'very good' or 'good'
38%

35%

19%
8%

< 59%

70% of SSC employees think


that working conditions are
good or very good

6070%

> 70%

No information
available

An alternative view addresses the overall quality of the SSCs


environment from the perspective of its employees.
employees Almost half of all
survey participants claim that more than 70% of their employees think
that the working conditions are good or very good. Again, we can see a
correlation between the SSC maturity and the satisfaction of its
employees with the working conditions. 45% of all SSCs rated in the
maturity model as being in Stage 3 achieved the highest rating of staff
satisfaction among the SSCs surveyed.
Percentage of SSC staff who rate the SSC's
working conditions 'very good' or 'good'
42%

23%

27%

8%
0%
<49%

PwC

5059%

6070%

> 70%

No information
available

42

Detailed analysis of the SSC evaluation

All initial targets have been


met to a certain extent in all
SSCs

On average, initially set targets were met to a relatively high extent in


all cases in the following categories: Cost reductions as the leading one,
Quality improvements, Faster service, Transparency improvements
and Other objectives, where the survey participants included mainly
end-to-end process management, but the extent to which this target
was met is relatively lower compared to the others.
Extent to which the SSC has already achieved
the initial targets
Cost reductions

4,8

Quality improvements

4,5

Faster service

4,3

Transparency improvements
Other

4,5
3,5

The scale of answers: 1 - target not met; 6 - target exceeded.

Cost reduction targets have been


exceeded in 27% of all survey
participants

Some of the initially set targets were even exceeded by the performance
of the SSCs. This is the case for 27% of SSCs as far as cost reduction is
concerned. Other targets were exceeded in 15% of cases.
Percentage of SSCs which have exceeded the
initial targets
Cost reductions

PwC

27%

Quality improvements

15%

Faster service

15%

Transparency improvements

15%

43

Outlook

Outlook
88% of SSCs will continue to
operate and do not plan to scale
down processes. 92% of survey
participants are planning to or
are already consolidating their
SSC

The final part of our survey touches upon the future prospects of the
SSCs in the region.
Based on the answers from our survey, we can clearly see that the
existing concept of the SSC is rather successful as 88% of our
participants do not plan to reduce the extent of activities provided by
the SSCs and return them back to the business units. Almost half of the
participating SSCs plan to consolidate the existing SSCs and more than
a third of the participants (35%) have already done so.
What is rather optimistic is the number of new SSCs to be
implemented, as 46% of all participants plan to implement a new SSC.
This confirms previous good experience with the local environment
and promises the future development of the SSC market in the region.
Degree on future sourcing strategies
8%
42%

Consolidating existing SSCs

15%
35%
35

15%
Implementing a new/additional SSC

46%
4%
35%

Outsourcing individual activities


previously provided by the SSC to an
external provider

Scaling down the SSC and returning


activities/processes to the business
units and/or to company headquaters

65%
19%
0%
15%

88%
8%
0%
4%

Not implemented neither plan to be implemented


To be implemented
In process of implementation
Already implemented

PwC

44

Outlook

Outsourcing of processes from


the SSC is seen as a relevant
option, although is not seen as
completely topical

The outsourcing of services outside the SSC is seen as a relevant


option, although the survey participants do not see this as a current
issue which would be relevant to their situation as of today. Generally,
the SSCs see it as more relevant to outsource to a low-cost country than
to a country within the region, but they find both options less relevant
than the idea of outsourcing some activities from the SSC in general.
Selective outsourcing of processes
Selective outsourcing of processes

3,6

Selective outsourcing of processes to a


l
low-cost
t country
t outside
t id off our region
i

3,3

Selective outsourcing of processes to a


country within our region

2,9

The scale of answers: 1 - not at all applicable; 6 - fully applicable.

A politically stable environment


and a skilled,
skilled educated,
educated loyal
and reliable workforce are seen
as the main reasons in favour of
the Czech Republic and
Slovakia

In looking for a new location for the SSC, the key criteria for selection
included availability of a low cost and skilled workforce with high
language potential and operation under favorable legislation.
Further criteria with a similar degree of preference were infrastructure
present in the location or nearby, macroeconomic stability and
availability of any kind of grants. Proximity of other corporate
functions or of the core business as well as the attractiveness of the
location were not seen as very decisive factors for location selection.
Preferred criteria to used when selecting the
new location for SSC
Workforce availability, skill-sets, language
potential

27%

24%

Labour costs and legislation


Location support infrastructure (Offices, facilities,
IT, banking, etc)

11%

Economic environment (Regulatory, tax, politics,


economy)

10%

Availability of Local or EU grants

10%

Quality of life (Cost of living, attractiveness of


location)

6%

Proximity to core business location(s)

6%

Co-location with other corporate functions

PwC

4%

45

Outlook

The participants were asked whether they would choose a different


location if they had the opportunity to decide again. Only 42%
confirmed that they would keep the current location. The rest did not
specify any preference or named some other destination. Among the
new destinations suggested were mainly those with even lower labour
costs located further to the east of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Preferred location of the SSC if it were possible
to choose it again

8%

No information available
50%
42%

Czech Republic and Slovakia


are seen as favourable
destinations for the SSC
implementation

PwC

The same location as now


New location

Based on the overall comments summoned in our survey, the Czech


Republic and Slovakia are seen in general as favourable destinations
for the SSC implementation. The main reasons stated by the
participants can be divided into several categories:

Workforce in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is assessed as


follows:
skilled
experienced
relatively available
reliable and motivated
loyal
with high university graduates ratio

Global environment in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is


seen as follows:
macroeconomically stable
with low labour costs (still good value for money)
favourable labour legislation in terms of sick leave of the
employees
no extensive cultural or language barriers

46

Outlook

On the other hand, factors seen as less positive include the following
areas:
Bureaucracy large bureaucratic machinery hinders the
development activities of the SSCs
Infavourable labour legislation as far as dismissal of the
employees is concerned
Limited availability of workforce with certain
qualifications
Deficient availability of government grants or incentives for
language and soft skills training
Limited offer of location incentives (rewards for choosing
a particular area for the SSC)
When asked about the upcoming challenges, the participants in our
survey voiced several areas for future development and improvement.
The most often cited areas for improvement which the SSCs plan to
work on included:
ERP system implementation and its full operation
Automation of processes
Talent attraction and retention
Productivity
P d i i growth
h
Enlarging the scope of services provided while at the same time
maintaining a good balance of costs and quality
Attracting new customers

PwC

47

Outlook

Challenges lying ahead of the


SSCs include balancing the
costs and quality and
attracting and retaining key
talents

Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce also figured among the


burning issues todays SSCs are facing. Secondly, increasing customer
satisfaction, cultural differences and cross-cultural communication
between the SSCs staff and core business units were put in second
place as complicating the everyday operations of todays SSCs.
As a general remark, it can be stated that the SSC concept is a success.
SSCs are clearly not a one-time project but an ongoing journey with
many challenges. Achieving a sound balance of cost efficiency and
quality and attracting and retaining key talents rise up among the most
important objectives for the SSCs for the future.

PwC

48

About
bout us
We help create the value clients
are looking for

Our clients face new challenges, explore interesting ideas and seek
expert advice every day. They turn to us for comprehensive support
and practical solutions that deliver maximum value. Whether they are
a global player, a family business or a public institution, we leverage
our full range of skills: experience, industry-specific knowledge,
high standards of quality, commitment to innovation and the resources
of our expert network in over 150 countries. Building a trusting and
cooperative relationship with our clients is particularly important to us
the better we know and understand our clients needs, the more
strategically we can support them. Companies that have implemented
SSCs in the past are now being confronted with the question of how to
ensure the cost and service advantages of their SSC in the long term.
PwC has been working in partnership with its clients in the
implementation of shared services for many years. We draw on our
experience to support our clients with well trained teams and
international networks to overcome their challenges and develop
achievable, long-term solutions.

Dislaimer
This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional
advisors.

PwC

49

Glossa y
Glossary
AP
ACCA
BSC
CRM
CZ
ERP
FMCG
FTE
HR
KPI
PM
SK
SLA
SSC
TQM

PwC

Accounts Payable
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Balance Scorecard
Customer Relationship Management
Czech Republic
Enterprise Resource Planning
Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Full time employee
Human resources
Key Performance Indicator
Performance management
Slovakia
Service Level Agreement
Shared Service Centre
Total Quality Management

50

Contacts
Czech Republic

Slovakia

Chris Skirrow

Alica Pavkov

Partner
Tel: +420 251 151 840
E-mail: chris.skirrow@cz.pwc.com

Partner
Tel: +421 259 350 419
E-mail: alica.pavukova@sk.pwc.com

Vra Vtvarov

Monika Smiansk

Partner
Tel: +420 251 152 099
E-mail:
il vera.vytvarova@cz.pwc.com

Director
Tel: +421 259 350 421
E-mail:
il monika.smizanska@
ik
i
k
sk.pwc.com
k

Ale Fojtk

Martin Kubi

Manager
Tel: +420 251 151 674
E-mail: ales.fojtik@cz.pwc.com

Assistant Manager
Tel: +421 259 350 424
E-mail: martin.kubis@sk.pwc.com

Jonathan Appleton

Eva Hupkov

Director - Academy Leader


Tel:+420 251 152 015
E-mail: jonathan.appleton@cz.pwc.com

Director - Academy Leader


Tel: +421 259 350 414
E-mail: eva.hupkova@sk.pwc.com

The commitment of these experts reflects the highest quality criteria in terms of their
professionalism. Integrity, impartiality and objectivity are also part of the corporate philosophy.
For this reason, great care is taken to offer clients only those all-in-one services that are
consistent with the law. The most modern approaches
pp
are taken towards auditing,
g consulting
g
and evaluation, thus supporting the companies in meeting the high demands of a competitive
market.

PwC

51

www.pwc.cz

www.pwc.com/sk

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